Growing Rise in Side Hustles Points to Boon in Digital Payouts

Data Suggests a Boon for Disbursements, Earned Wage Access

The rise of the gig economy may have significant, positive knock-on effects for faster disbursements and earned wage access options.

In this environment, supplemental income is a pursuit, especially among high-income individuals and households.

Inflation has proven sticky, especially for some of the most essential spending that makes everyday life livable, like food, clothing and shelter. PYMNTS Intelligence data from paycheck-to-paycheck economy reports showed that additional streams of income, through part-time or project work, have been critical in helping consumers shore up their financial health.

Energy and gas prices have been volatile, to put it mildly. Rate cuts seem way off, and there’s no sure bet as to the timing of Federal Reserve decisions that would trim interest rates, and by extension, the rates paid on credit card debt and variable interest loans.

Paycheck-to-paycheck living has been a fact of life for most consumers, as 59% of the U.S. population juggles the monthly obligations that come in every earnings period. Drill down a bit, and more than 40% of consumers earning more than $100,000 annually find the same balancing act in place. As many as 26% of high earners take on active work as gig economy denizens, a bit more than the overall sample.

Speed is a key value when it comes to getting paid. The faster a worker gets paid, the more they can have the money in hand to battle unforeseen financial events, satisfy the demands of simply making ends meet and save for a rainy day while paying down debt.

In separate research, measuring consumers’ satisfaction with instant payouts, PYMNTS Intelligence found that 36% of consumers who received payment for freelance or consulting work — which includes supplemental income — opted to get paid instantly. Seventy-seven percent of consumers chose instant payments for earnings and wages.

Being able to get paid on an earned-wage basis holds appeal for many workers. Fifty-six percent of those with earned wage access said they had used it. As many as 75% of millennials said earned wage access availability would influence their acceptance of a job offer. Additionally, 96% of corporates that offered earned wage access said their employees liked it and the offering helped attract talent. Three-quarters of gig workers said they want to be paid by their employers more often — paid as they go — as they grapple with the demands of everyday spending.